Joined For Life: The Absolutely Amazing Story of Abby & Brittany

Connectivism & Connected Knowledge: A Personal Journey

Connectivism & Connected Knowledge tells the story of my journey from isolation to becoming globally connected to sources of knowledge. It is a journey that begins with a proposition: self-improvement that also benefits others. I go back in time to share this journey with you, certain that it will also benefit you personally, and the members of your personal and professional learning network also.

Amazon Author Page: Thomas Jerome Baker

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Hensel Twins


Abby & Brittany Hensel are never alone. They are always together. As a matter of fact, they have been together every second of every minute of every hour of their entire lives.

Abby and Brittany conjoined twins. They share the same body…

Source: Wikipedia

Abigail “Abby” Loraine Hensel and Brittany “Britty” Lee Hensel (born March 7, 1990 in Carver County, Minnesota, US) are dicephalic parapagus twins, meaning that they are conjoined twins of whom each has a separate head, but whose bodies are joined. They are highly symmetric, giving the appearance of having just a single body with little variation from normal proportion. In fact, several vital organs are doubled up, each woman having a separate heart, stomach, spine and spinal cord.

Each twin controls her half of their body, operating one of the arms and one of the legs. This means that as infants, the initial learning of physical processes that required bodily coordination, such as clapping, crawling, and walking required the cooperation of both children.

While each is able to eat and write separately and simultaneously, activities such as running and swimming must be coordinated and alternate symmetrically. Other activities as diverse as brushing hair and driving a car require that each twin perform a sequence of quite separate actions that coordinate with the other.

Despite the curiosity that their condition has generated, the Hensel twins have managed to live private lives with relatively little press attention. At the age of sixteen, they gave an interview on The Learning Channel on December 17, 2006, in which they discussed aspects of their daily lives and plans for the future.

Abigail and Brittany Hensel were born in Carver County, Minnesota, the daughters of Patty, a registered nurse, and Mike Hensel, a carpenter and landscaper. The twins have a younger brother named Dakota, or Koty for short, a younger sister named Morgan, and a dog named Sadie. They were raised in New Germany and attended Lutheran High School in Mayer, Minnesota.

The Hensel twins have a single body with separate heads and necks, a chest that is wider than normal, two arms and two legs. At birth they had a rudimentary arm attached to a shoulder blade at the back. The arm was removed, leaving the shoulder blade.

Abigail’s head tilts laterally outward about 5 degrees to the right while Brittany’s head tilts laterally at about 15 degrees to the left, causing Brittany to appear shorter. At age 12, they underwent surgery at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare to correct scoliosis and to expand their chest cavity to prevent future difficulties with breathing.[1]

Each of the twins manages one side of their conjoined body. The sense of touch of each is restricted to her body half; this shades off at the midsagittal plane such that there is a small amount of overlap at the midline. They are effective in cooperatively using their limbs when both hands or both legs are required. By coordinating their efforts, they are able to walk, run, swim and ride a bicycle normally — all tasks that they learned at a normal speed. Together, they can type on a computer keyboard at a normal speed and drive a car.

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Connectivism & Connected Knowledge: A Personal Journey

Connectivism & Connected Knowledge tells the story of my journey from isolation to becoming globally connected to sources of knowledge. It is a journey that begins with a proposition: self-improvement that also benefits others. I go back in time to share this journey with you, certain that it will also benefit you personally, and the members of your personal and professional learning network also.

Amazon Author Page: Thomas Jerome Baker

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
This entry was posted in Education, Education Technology, EFL and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Joined For Life: The Absolutely Amazing Story of Abby & Brittany

  1. The Hensel twins are extraodinary in being so ordinary in living their lives so cooperatively

    Like

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